Major U.S. domestic stock ETFs were down for a second week on concerns that falling over the fiscal cliff would further squeeze corporate profits after a lackluster third-quarter earnings season.
The S&P 500 was down 1.8% for the week in afternoon trading Friday while the Dow shed 2.1% and the Nasdaq Composite slipped 2.2%.
The hardest-hit ETFs this week were funds tracking miners, coal, steel, uranium, Greece and semiconductors.
“Any tidbit of hope on the fiscal cliff front would lead to a positive response,” said Walter Hellwig at BB&T Wealth Management in a Bloomberg News report. “That’s been the driving force in the market. Because of the oversold condition of the market, any good news is going to cause a pop. Conversely, anything that’s viewed as negative in the negotiations is going to cause a downward move.”
The top three unleveraged ETFs this were U.S. Natural Gas Fund (NYSEArca: UNG), E-TRACS UBS Long Platinum (NYSEArca: PTM) and WisdomTree Japan Total Dividend (NYSEArca: DXJ) with gains of more than 3%.
The bottom three unleveraged ETFs this week were Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners (NYSEArca: GDXJ), Global X Uranium (NYSEArca: URA) and Market Vectors Gold Miners (NYSEArca: GDXJ) with setbacks of at least 9%.
In next week’s economic data, look for reports on existing home sales, homebuilder confidence, housing starts and consumer sentiment. Markets will be closed Thursday for Thanksgiving and the NYSE will close early on Friday.